Corky Hale is one of the world’s premiere harpists, a child prodigy turned teenage TV personality via her appearances on the Freddy Martin show, and then to a gig accompanying Liberace, which suddenly beget opportunities left and right, performing and recording with musicians of all stripes and genres. For the quality of her self-titled debut album, it’s surprising that it would take her twenty-eight years for a follow-up! Who knew a harpist could be so busy?
Still, Corky Hale is a delectable treat. It’s gentle, easy-listening jazz, as light and as delicate as one would expect from a harp player. The bill of fare consists of standards, including the Gershwin brothers, Sammy Cahn, Vernon Duke, and “Yip” Harburg. Hale and her quartet glide through Popular Song classics such as “April In Paris,” “Autumn in New York,” and “But Not For Me” with a coolness not heard outside of a Modern Jazz Quartet record.
What make Corky Hale a delight is, in essence, its simplicity. Its melodies flow and fly like dandelion seeds throughout the room and into your mind, never challenging it, simply relaxing it, offering a balm for your stressful day.